The jazzy, uncompromising Ninja Tune electronic artist — who uses mostly vinyl — is touring to promote his fifth LP “Friendly Bacteria,” which came out in May. This weekend at Public Works, he takes over the turntables from 9 p.m. until the wee hours of the morning. Upstairs in the loft will be local all-stars DJ Boogie, DJ Platurn, DJ Dials and Motion Potion.
Skyping from a train station, the ever-amiable Mr. Scruff says he’s missed his San Francisco friends and record shops dearly and is salivating at the chance to test out Public Works’ world-class sound system.
“I’m really impressed,” he says. “It’s kind of like my dream setup.”
Scruff turns down more gigs than he takes, because he likes long sets where he can hang out, get into the groove of the night with the crowd, and play with them a little.
“It’s about tickling and teasing. That’s the reason for playing all night,” he adds.
Things will start more mellow when the doors open, and Scruff will try explore techno, folk, reggae, Nigerian stuff, Brazilian, Cuban, Haitian, Ghanian and French music.
“I try and play as kind of wide-ranging, adventurous selections as I possibly can. Every night’s different, that’s why it’s fun. I look at each club night as a blank slate,” he says.
Born Andy Carthy in 1972, Mr. Scruff was making mixtapes by age 12 and has been DJing in and around Manchester since 1994. Mr. Scruff first-connected globally with the jazzy, whimsical “Get A Move On” from “Keep it Unreal” in 1999. He’s appeared on more than 25 labels including Warp.
“Friendly Bacteria” shows an uncompromising, experimental Scruff in collaboration with Denis Jones, Vanessa Freeman and Robert Owens. It’s stripped musically — with few samples and more vocals. The rough edges are counterintuitive, in part because Carthy is a new dad with a young daughter lighting up his life.
“It’s brilliant,” he says. “I’m not a massive fan of getting up early in the morning. But when you’ve got a 3-year-old joyfully jumping on your face you have to fight it or go with it.” He adds, “I still have bags underneath my eyes, they’re just there for a different reason.”
IF YOU GO
with J Boogie, DJ Platurn, DJ Dials, Motion Potion
Where: Public Works, 161 Erie St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Contact: (415) 779-6757, www.publicsf.com